As one of the world’s most active centers for the care of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), MD Anderson has a level of experience and expertise that can make a profound difference in your treatment. Our experts design your personal care plan specifically for you, drawing upon the most advanced options with the least impact on your body.
The three classic MPN subtypes are myelofibrosis, the most aggressive MPN; polycythemia vera, the most common; and essential thrombocythemia, the most indolent.
Thanks to our leading MPN team at the Clinical Research Center for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, we are at the forefront of developing new cancer treatments for these conditions, including innovative drugs to improve blood counts. As one of the nation’s leading MPN research programs, we are able to offer clinical trials of investigational agents, while most other cancer centers do not.
Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Treatments
Myeloproliferative neoplasms, previously called myeloproliferative disorders, can be challenging to treat. Patients may require years of therapy and follow-up care. Treatments for MPN generally are aimed at controlling disease symptoms, and your symptoms will help the doctor decide which treatment is best. Therapies may include one or more of the following:
- Medications: Aspirin, hydroxyurea, anagrelide and interferon-alpha are the main medications for essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera. Ruxolitinib can be used in polycythemia vera patients not responding to hydroxyurea. Ropeginterferon alpha-2b was approved as a first-line treatment for PV in the United States in November 2021. For myelofibrosis, ruxolitinib and fedratinib (JAK inhibitors) are approved therapies. Thalidomide, steroids and other hormones, and cladribine also may be used. Pacritinib received accelerated regulatory approval for patients with myelofibrosis and very low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia) in February 2022.
- Blood or platelet transfusion
- Growth factors, which stimulate growth of bone marrow cells, are given as injections under the skin and may benefit myelofibrosis patients with low blood cell counts.
- Radiation therapy of the spleen in patients with myelofibrosis
- Surgical removal of the spleen in patients with myelofibrosis
- Phlebotomy for patients with polycythemia vera
- Stem cell transplant in patients with myelofibrosis
MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering
promising new treatments that cannot be found anywhere else.
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